When I have my strong, intuitive hands on someone’s naked, covered, of course, body, they love finding the exhale.
Finding the exhale is an actual “thrill” in my body-worker world. I love it! It gives me that boost of satisfaction, knowing we got the best you can get from the massage, reflexology treatment or sometimes, astrotherapy session: the release…the exhale…the freedom from release!
The layers and levels of “how”
For the most part, we get it that the mind-body connection is a powerful pathway for great health, a strong spiritual center and/or state, and an all-around peaceful, passionate, prosperous life.
The “how” of actualizing that mind-body connection has lots of layers and levels.
We hear and are familiar with the cues of when the body needs fuel, rest, sex, exercise, fresh air, or a chocolate fix. Some of the subtler cues are, subtler. We have to be quieter to hear them.
Lesson #1 will only take several dozen years!
Yes, getting quiet is job #1….and, when you’ve mastered this, in about twenty years, if you’re lucky, you’ll be ready for job #2!
Just kidding. The thing to remember about getting quiet, and the practices of meditation, is that you have to keep doing it over and over and over and over and over. Just forget the expectation of being quiet and do the work and trust the process.
It’s like anything we learn…repetition is key. You don’t make it in every time you shoot, but you keep tossing that ball up in the air; or, tee off with those clubs; or paint….doesn’t matter what the ‘what’ is….just do it.
Learning to listen
One of my teachers was/is an Aries. When I met her in 1989, she was in her early seventies, had just gotten married for the third time, to her best friend and undoubtable soulpal, was ministering a Unity congregation in the South Bay that’s still thriving, and did a shoulder stand every day…and advised most everyone to do the same.
She’s tiny yet mighty; bubbly, warm, intelligent, appeals to the masses like a pro, and has that contagious vibrant style about her; you’re just a bit lighter and more energized after having been around her. By the grace of good fortune, I got to be around her a lot for a few incredible years during my thirties.
She survived childhood abuse by tenting under her bedclothes and talking to God, then, widowed in her twenties after three kids, she got up at 5 a.m. ever day and prayed and meditated for two hours, because she knew she had no other way of handling and coping with the circumstances that had overcome her life. Onward she triumphed, and continues spreading her signature zeal.
This is how Trish teaches (taught – it’s how I learned) meditation:
“Sit down. Close your eyes. Be quiet. Don’t move until you’re done being quiet.” And, then, we would sit there….usually for about thirty minutes; sometimes less, sometimes more. But, that was all the actual instruction. The only way to learn to meditate is to sit down and be quiet. Again, and again, and again.
“Exhaling is twice as important as inhaling”
This is what I tell people during a breathing coaching session. Yes, the inhale is important; and, as many through the filtered nostrils as possible. One of my other teachers barked, “Only dogs breathe through their mouths!”
We release toxins through the exhale, and, gas, carbon dioxide, which, if left in the body, would kill us.
This is the actual problem with the souls who struggle with conditions such as COPD, emphysema, and some of the symptoms associated with lung conditions. The problem isn’t that they can’t get sufficient oxygen into the body; the problem is that their body can’t get the poisonous gas out of the body.
Various orientations in breathing practices emphasize special exercises for expelling deep pockets of air. I like keeping it simple and recommend that people exhale twice as long as you inhale during a quiet time session of relaxation breathing.
Find the exhale
Those theatrical sighs, like when someone plops into a big, juicy recliner at the end of a long day; finishes a really long paper at school; completes one of many domestic tasks such as cleaning the kitchen, or, vacuuming upstairs (today’s domestic task for me…many thanks to my kid and her friend, Genevive, for hauling our new Hoover upstairs); takes that final step that touches the summit of a good climb? Those exhalations are our system’s release valve. We can let go of so much through those exhales.
Find the thing(s) that makes you exhale and do it…again, and again.
A mole talked to me
For the years just prior to, and the several that followed the birth of my daughter, I/we lived out in the middle of the forest. We were nestled in the Saddle Mountain valley, with the slow, sweet (and so nice and warm in the summers) Sprague River just out from our front yard and lining the windy route to and from this isolated, wooded abode that was heaven for about ten years.
Our neighbors were the deer, quail, chipmunks, golden mantles, eagles, coyote, geese, duck, beaver, badger, skunk, and a few sweet souls who still reside as neighbors to my adorable mom out at Potter’s Park (keep it in mind for the upcoming camping, fishing, swimming season . …it’s a great, local, gas-friendly outdoor retreat location).
I was changing my clothes one morning in the walk-in closet (I loved that closet) and a mole on my upper left arm – the one that for years perched cooley out the window of my southern California car, super exposed to the sun’s rays – very distinctly caught my attention.
For the record, otherwise, I wasn’t a classical tan hound – “laying out.”
Without much ceremony, I simply said to the mole, “If you need me to do something, get my attention again.” I pretty much let the matter drop. I wasn’t hyper focused on the mole; my memory tells me I did a clear job of letting the matter go.
Then, one day, about three weeks after the first episode, another, virtually duplicate scenario happened. Now, obviously, getting dressed happened frequently; but, the mole only caught my attention on two separate and distinct occasions.
So, I went to the doc and he took it off. He suggested that it was an early stage, pre-cancerous growth.
As a student and teacher of meditation and holistic wellness for over thirty years, I can still become completely absorbed and in awe, from a really quiet and enchanted place, and stunned into a captivated silence by the brilliance of the human body. It so way rocks….the body is just….beyond words.
One of my favorite meditation exercises is the only one that Trish ever employed during class:
“Stare at your hand. You may turn it over one or two times.” Then, thirty minutes later, she would say, “Now, switch hands.” Thirty minutes later, she would smile her broad, engaging smile and the exercise was done.
If you’re going to trust any source of wisdom, trust the body. Go ahead and explore other wellness tools, but first and foremost, listen to the body.
Thank you for reading. Your comments are appreciated. Feel free to subscribe and share me. Namaste and blessings for all. For more info on holistic astrology, please contact me at: email@example.com.
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